I play vic firth 5bn and rarely brake sticks, they usually wear thru form the hats an fall off. They had a deal on once for putting your name on them and I unknowingly bought a brick of the novas and broke them all in 3 gigs well except for the couple that had the tips fly off. To make a long story short they are made from the wood that gets rejected from the american classic line usually because the grain is on an angle instead of going full length of the stick making them weak. They also use the old type of tip and application which make them more prone for coming off and breaking than the newer american classic tips that are guarenteed. IMO novas are junk and heres a pic of whats left the brick I had received.